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Review: The Sixty Minute Father

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Rob Parsons is the founder of Care for the Family which describes itself as a charity "working to strengthen family life" and "motivated by Christian compassion" but whose "resources and support are available to everyone, of any faith or none."  (For more information see their online booklet Because Family Life Matters).  The book the The Sixty Minute Father by Parsons is published under the Care for the Family banner.  That background is important, in case you come to the book thinking this is explicitly Christian or Biblical teaching on being a father - it's not, although you may be able to discern some Christian principles behind it.

The book is written on the premise that dads need to be more intentional both in making time for their children and in using that time fruitfully, especially in the light of the overly busy lives of many dads in our current society (Parsons starts with the illustration of the dad in the film Hook).

He outlines 10 goal…

Review: The Purpose Driven Life

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So I'm slightly over ten years behind the rest of the world, but I have finally read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.  This is probably the biggest selling Christian book ever (after the Bible of course) and Warren is Pastor of one of the biggest churches in America.

The book is designed as a 40 day discipleship devotional and is structured around 5 purposes:

You were planned for God's pleasureYou were formed for God's familyYou were created to become like ChristYou were shaped for serving GodYou were made for mission For various reasons it has been criticised and Warren has often been lumped in with other megachurch pastors who have watered down the gospel.  I think this is probably unfair.  It's worth listening to John Piper interview Rick Warren to get a feel for where Warren is coming from.  For myself, from reading what he has written and listening to this interview, he seems a solid evangelical pastor doing good work for the Lord.
So, some observations abo…

What Would We Ask God? - Why Do We Fail and Yet You Keep Forgiving Us?

The last of my magazine articles on the top questions people in our congregations wanted to ask God.

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It's the final question of our series on questions we would ask God and it's a great one to finish on: Why do we fail and yet you keep forgiving us?
First, this question is very realistic about what we're like as Christians. Although, in God's strength, we do make progress in our holiness, this side of heaven we will continue to sin. Paul describes the battle within us: “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want” (Galatians 5:17 NIV). Similarly John writes to Christians: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8 NIV). Christians continue to sin.
Second, this question describes God's gracious nature very well. He does keep forgiving us, despite our failures. Joh…